Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"It makes me ill to see or think about a 100 year old object “breaking” or becoming a dumpster item – it’s as if a piece of history has been raped or taken before its time. I totally admire Etsy’s recyclers...." Katy from

A fellow Texan and Etsy shop owner shares her views on Etsy and sustainability - 5th in the "Classy Sustainability" series.

1970s Vintage Huey Waltzer for Darcy;  $45.00 + shipping.  Listing below and Katy's interview follows.  

Q.  What prompted you to become an Etsy seller?

A.  I joined Etsy as a buyer, to feed my hunger “to create,” I purchased mainly sewing items, trims, ribbons and embellishments. And Etsy has the best! My Etsy selling became a way to pay for my Etsy buying. LOL! I did not become really serious about selling until about a year ago, and then I was hooked.

Q.  You've been on Etsy for just over 2 years. How would you describe your success so far? 

A.  I am happy with my success, but not satisfied. The Etsy learning curve is huge and oftentimes boring; for example, SEO. In an attempt to improve my Etsy shop, I am forever learning and collaborating with team members. No, I’m not satisfied. I am highly competitive, and I plan on winning this game some day! has 275 listings, 333 sales, 1689 admirers and over 100 rave reviews.  The listing for these finials is below the photo and Katy's interview continues after.

Q.  You have a great eclectic mix of vintage items in your shop. How do you decide what to sell? 

A.  The majority of items in my shop are items that I adore..that “I” like. But, to become more successful, to draw a crowd into one’s shop, one must embrace the “trending” articles of that specific time, that specific day in the global universe.  BUT, you gotta discover the trends quickly and POUNCE because what’s en vogue today, what’s happening today, could just as swiftly become passé tomorrow.

Q.  How do you connect selling vintage with sustainability or going green?

A.  Since I’m all about vintage, I got it bad for the green thing – it makes me ill to see or think about a 100 year old object “breaking” or becoming a dumpster item – it’s as if a piece of history has been raped or taken before its time. I totally admire Etsy’s recyclers - the Etsians that devote their time to giving a vintage item a new purpose. I love to peruse the creative shops that create and reuse. I can and do spend hours looking through the shops of women who sew, who take a vintage supply and give it a new life.

Q.  What advice would you give someone who wants to start an Etsy shop?

A.  Research, research, and research. Educate yourself first, but always chase your dream, your passion – On Etsy, your passion will be recognized: it will be appreciated and hopefully turn into to sells for you.

These vintage dishes are $26 + shipping.  Listing link is below.

P.S. I have had my eye on those cat eye sunglasses for a while.  I expect to be the proud owner of them tonight.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Sometimes I pick up a piece and think it looks old, feels old, is very interesting looking and wonder, what it is.  Then I buy it, come home, do the research and find I have a very good piece."  Mrs. Doc.  

The 4th part of "Classy Sustainability," is from  While visiting with Mrs. Doc, I got the feeling that she is that rare person with a 6th sense about the value, history and sentiment attached to vintage finds. She didn't say that, of course, her interview which follows this listing and you will see what I mean. 
Pair of Royal Ruby Vases - $50 plus shipping.

Q.  What prompted you to become an Etsy seller?
A.  First off we weren't sure this was what we even wanted to do, but we were definitely looking for a better way to sell our products than boxing them up and dragging them to flea or open air markets. We had rented booths at different antique stores. But it seemed like all that sold went to pay the rent and there wasn't much profit. I had heard of Etsy and after looking at it some, told Doc if we could figure out how to open a store I thought we should do it.  
All backward from what I am hearing from some of the more seasoned and successful people on Etsy.  But we are here and beginning to see some profit. 

Q.  You have been on Etsy for about 18 months. How would you describe your success so far?
A.  First off we were not sure this was going to work out and then Etsy Pickers and Sellers happened to us.  Teresa of Broadriver Exchange found us and told us we really needed to be part of this Epsteam. She took us by the hand and helped us so much. The TEAM has helped us a lot. Sometimes they are aware of the help, sometimes not. We are finally seeing a little bit of profit. I feel like as long as we work the team programs and work at getting our shop noticed we will do alright. 

Etsy Pickers and Seller Team, is a fantastic Etsy team.  They are very active and can be found at:

The link to these antique farm fencing tools ($35 plus shipping) follows the photo and Mrs. Doc's interview continues after.

Q.  You have a great mix of items in your store.  How do you decide what to sell?  
A.  Basically we just look for things we think are old enough and maybe were popular at one time. Things that someone may want to put back in their home or replace - something they once had or their mother or grandmother had, so they can maybe feel that connection again to a loved one. I'm a sucker for old glass and that is what leads me to finds. 

Doc on the other hand knows tools and that sort of thing, so we kind of mix our interests. I love doing research. I love to find an item and maybe spend 12 hours or more on the net looking for the same thing or the history of the company that made it or finding what its original job was before it came to us.  Sometimes I pick up a piece and think it looks old, feels old, is very interesting looking and wonder, what it is.  Then I buy it come home, do the research and find I have a very good piece. 

Q.  How do you connect selling vintage with sustainability or going green?

A.  Antiquers are the original recyclers. I thought everyone knew that. If you do not have to use a natural resource to remake an item that you can still use or decorate your house with, then it is a green item in my book. Plain and simple reuse what is already here. Plus it is usually better made.
These dresser scarves are just $6 plus shipping - listing is below the photo

Q.  What advice would you give someone who wants to start an Etsy shop?
A.  Don't do what we did!  But by all means go for it. Keep in mind it is work. You have to realize you cannot just open a shop and things happen.  You do have to work it.  Get in and really study how everything works before jumping in. READ up on how Etsy works before jumping in and DO NOT be afraid to ask questions. (I still struggle with this one.) 
The technical stuff all the computer things still comes hard for us. 

I LOVE this shop and had such a hard time deciding what items to showcase.  They have over 200 items and every one is a gem.  The owners are gems too.  As of today, they are one sale away from 100, have over 800 admirers and stunning reviews.  Below are 2 items I purchased from them.  Sorry, they are no longer available - but they have lots of other great things. 
 This little dish sits on a small table and I use it as a coaster.

I have a juicer and drinking green juices from these glasses make them go down easily.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Classy Sustainability, honoring Earth Day 2014, continues with Mary and her shop  Mary's shop is devoted to glass and full of wonderful treasures.  I am a happy customer of Mary's.  In fact, while researching the article I found yet another glass piece from that is headed towards Texas right now.  

This gorgeous piece is available for $18 plus shipping.  Listing link is below the photo and Mary's story follows.

Q. What prompted you to become an Etsy seller?
A. I had a really good experience connecting museums and collectors with items from a family members estate. It gave me a feel for how to ship items and a taste of the joy people have when they find that special something. Around that same time I found Etsy when looking for depression glass and after about a year thought maybe I should start a shop to connect others with items I have. I decided to open the shop for my birthday last year as a fun challenge for the next year. 

Q. You've been on Etsy less than a year. How would you describe your success so far? 

A. Things are going just right. I have a full-time job and 9 year old. A few sales a week on average is easy to keep up with. Our family looks at MaryTraveler as a bonus. It is an opportunity to teach my son about business, as I work in the non-profit sector. Plus we have fun by finding new items or using Pindex to mark all the places we shipped to. 

The first items I bought from were a set of Avon Cape Cod bowls that are lovely accent pieces to my bone china which has a small blue and red flower pattern around the rim.  This coffee and creamer set - also Avon Cape Cod is $12 plus shipping.  The listing link is below the photo.

Q. What made you decide to focus on glass? 
A. Glass is the thread of things I love. I have not seen a 60's glass Jeanie bottle I did not want to put in my carry-on to bring home from a trip. My dad is from Indiana and we had great pieces of Indiana Glass around our home as a kid. As a result, I collect and have plenty of extras and an eye for what is older plus lots of identification books. 

Q. How do you connect selling vintage glass with sustainability or going green?

A. I look at it as an opportunity to support reusing what we have. Much of what I list was made in the United States over the past 100 years. It is still here and beautiful. I think a blue glass ball jar is a better pencil holder than anything you could buy new. I think an old glass pyrex measuring cup is better than plastic. has over 200 glass items for sale today, like this Westmorland Beaded Covered dish with Lid.  Yours for $16 plus shipping
 As of Feb 21, 2014, this shop has sold over 60 items, which is incredible for a shop open only 7 months, and has many rave reviews.  

Q. What advice would you give someone who wants to start an Etsy shop?

A. Starting the actual shop is not too hard, but I would say study the shops you like. Really think about what you like and how you will get more of that to list. Consider each listing the opportunity to inform as well as sell. Set gradual goals for example getting to 20 items listed, then 50. Join a team, the Etsy Pickers and Sellers Team discussions have helped me a lot.

Thanks to Mary for sharing her insights and allowing a peak into 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Second in the Classy Sustainability series honoring Earth Day 2014, continues with Linda and

I found myself going back in time reading about Linda's journey to on-line selling and the influences from her past.  This D'Arceau-Limoges Lea Collector Plate is just one of over 200 items that Linda has in her Etsy shop. The listing link is below the photo and Linda's interview follows.  

Q.  What prompted you to become an Etsy seller? 
A. The short answer is that I tend to be a little “arty.”  I love to thrift store shop, I love to make things, and I have too much stuff!  The longer story is that my mother was my example.  She was an avid craftswoman and after she retired from teaching in 1977, she took up photography.  She discovered that she had an “eye” for capturing a scene through the camera lens and had the confidence and energy to become an entrepreneur.  She started her own business in Vermont called “Jessie’s Photo”.  Over the next 20 years, she sold thousands of photographs.  She matted them, framed them, made magnets out of them, had coffee mugs and T-shirts made, made stationery and postcards.  You name it and mom did it!  She sold via local craft shows and word of mouth.  Her photography was so popular that she was asked to participate in a juried art show, and our town made poster-sized enlargements of her landscapes that are still hanging in the halls of the hospital.  
Mom taught me to sew when I was about 9 years old and it’s the one craft that I keep going back to. I like to make handbags because they’re fun and relatively quick to make.  Instead of going to the store to buy fabric, it’s more fun for me to make a handbag out of a blouse or skirt or jacket that has beautiful or funky fabric – something no one else thought of and it rescues a lovely piece of fabric - from perhaps a not-so-lovely item of clothing!  In 2012, my son gave me a wonderful Christmas gift – he said he hadn’t bought me anything for Christmas because he was offering to set up an Etsy store for me!

Q. In May you will have been on Etsy for one year. How would you describe your success so far? 
A. Amazing!  I’ve had over 100 sales so far, and I have no idea if that’s typical or if it’s even considered wonderful, but I’m thrilled.  I love the whole process of listing and selling on Etsy and am always so happy and I admit it - even surprised - when I see that an item has sold!  I love to gift wrap my sold items so that the purchaser feels like they’re getting a present from me in the mail.  My husband laughs at me because I’m like a kid in a candy store it’s so much fun.

This 1960s metal napkin holder is only $23 plus shipping at  The listing is below the photo and Linda's interview continues after.

Q.  You have a great eclectic mix of vintage items in your shop. How do you decide what to sell? 
A. When I was very young, my mom and dad owned a thrift store called “The Hand-Me-Down Shop”.  I remember that mom always spoke fondly of having had that store and loved her thrift store treasures as much as the most fabulous antique she owned.  Mom passed along to me her love of antiques and the hunt for treasures at thrift stores.  Because of that, I have way too much stuff!  

After setting up my Etsy store with my son’s help, I first listed my handbags.  My handmade jewelry next, followed by some of my personal vintage things.  When those things started to sell, I decided it was time to go through the items inherited from my aunt and uncle.  My aunt had - literally - drawers full of jewelry.  Fabulous jewelry that I have to be very careful sorting through because she had everything from plastic to platinum!  I also started to go through some of my mom’s things.  She passed away three years ago just before her 92nd birthday.  I hesitated at first and of course there are some things of hers that I will never sell, but I know she would be happy to have me share her things with others.  Plus, I know she would have loved Etsy!  I can imagine her selling her photography through an Etsy store!  As a matter of fact, I have some small photography items of hers that I will be listing in the future.  as of Feb 21, 2014 has had 108 sales, has almost 400 admirers and many positive reviews.  I wonder if this gorgeous piece of vintage jewelry belonged to an ancestor?  (listing link is below the photo and Linda's interview continues after.)

Q. Tell me why you started making purses out of ties?
A. I’ve always love neckties.  I think it’s because they are small pieces of fabric that make a statement or tell a story.  A friend told me about a purse she saw at a consignment store made out of neckties.  The power of suggestion got to me, so I went out and bought some ties (I thought about using my husband’s ties, but then thought better of it!) and started to experiment putting ties together.  Since I do like funky, I found the necktie handbags to be fun to make. 

Once I was happy with the results, I placed some necktie handbags in a local consignment store.  One day I got a call from a woman whose husband had passed away asking me if I could make handbags from his ties.  I told her that absolutely, of course I could and made her four bags.  She was thrilled.  
Not too long after I finished those bags, a woman who owns a beautiful boutique in north Georgia, saw the lady with one of my handbags, found out how to contact me and I now have about 20 or more handbags in that boutique.  The name of the shop is The Blue Eyed Buffalo and is in Clayton, GA.  

Through word of mouth I’ve made over 50 memory bags from neckties and it is so rewarding!  I know some people would find it strange to cut up someone’s ties and sew them into a handbag, but I feel that in my own little way, I’m helping these women with their grief.  They’re carrying a beautiful tribute to their husband (or father, brother, uncle or grandpa) that gives them pleasure.  

Q. How do you connect selling vintage with sustainability or going green?
A. I hate waste and I literally cringe when I hear people say that they threw this or that out.  Donating to a charity or thrift store is an awesome way to give back to your community in so many ways.  It helps the non-profit store with their cause, it gives people who can’t afford to buy new items a chance to furnish their home or clothe their children at a reasonable cost, and it gives pleasure to people like me who love to shop thrift!  The giver can even take a tax deduction on their donations!  This is totally a win-win situation all around. 

Q. What advice would you give someone who wants to start an Etsy shop?
A. First, I would say not to procrastinate!  Second, be prepared to devote time and energy to this new venture.  It’s a lot more work than I thought it would be.    Join one or more teams available on Etsy.   The Etsy Pickers and Sellers Team, known as “epsteam” ( is great.   It’s kind of like a small town which has a Main Street shopping area where the merchants participate together in a Friday night open house or a Winter Carnival offering hot cocoa and cookies to their customers – it’s nice.  Practice taking great pictures and keep listing new items.  Be professional and have fun!

I so enjoyed working with Linda on this piece.  I am also a satisfied customer of  I hope you will visit this shop and others on Etsy - the best place to buy vintage and become part of the "Classy Sustainability Set." Follow the epsteam link above to see other great vintage and handmade sellers on Etsy.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

April 22, is Earth Day.  To honor the 2014 big day of sustainability several of my favorite vintage Etsy sellers will be featured here.  Reusing and repurposing vintage items is sustainable and classy. You will find interesting tales and great advice in their stories and they come with a buyers recommendation, as I am a satisfied customer of each.  

Classy sustainability begins with Kris' story.  Her shop, is fantastic and includes items like this stunning black faux fur beret.  (listing link is just below the photo and Kris' interview follows.)

Q: What prompted you to become an Etsy seller?
A: My husband and I were antique collectors for a long time, filling our house with the items we found and bought until now there's no more room for anything else! We also inherited a lot of antique and vintage items from our parents, so finally, in an effort to downsize and have an additional source of income as well, I decided to try and sell some of our "stuff" on Ebay. But my grandson, who'd been selling on Ebay for several years, told me I should sell on Etsy instead. I'd never heard of Etsy, but I trusted his judgment and joined in December 2010 just to see what it was all about. 

Q: You've been on Etsy for just over 3 years. How would you describe your success so far?
A: I actually started selling in March of 2011, as it took me months to figure out how to do everything--how to take pictures of my items, how to list them, how to promote, etc. And once I jumped in, it took me a long time to make my first sale. But gradually, with the help of Etsy tutorials and joining teams that could give me good information, I started getting the hang of it. Basically success on Etsy means
  • having items people want to buy
  • taking the best pictures you can,
  • continuing to learn new things, like Search Engine Optimization, and grow as a seller
  • exercising patience to see you through slow selling periods where you try not to worry about it (other than reviewing your prices and pictures and tags, etc. to make sure they're as good as they can be)
  • keep listing new items on a daily basis. 

As of today, Feb 19, has racked up 512 sales, has over 1500 shop admirers and 225 great reviews.  This lap blanket is among over 100 items for sale in the shop.  A link to the listing is just below the photo and Kris' interview continues just afterwards

Q: How do you connect selling vintage with sustainability or going green?
A: Antique and vintage items are the original green items and have been long before the term "green" was coined. When you buy something that was made a long time ago, you not only purchase something that was probably better made than similar items today, but at a better price. And you're continuing to use something that someone else used. It's not part of the "throw away" culture so prevalent today, but part of admiring the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the past and bringing it into the present. 

Q: You have a great eclectic mix of vintage items in your shop. How do you decide what to sell?
A: When I was just a buyer of antique and vintage items, I simply bought what I liked--mostly an eclectic mix of things that looked good in our house, although I'd gone through an early "purist" phase where everything had to be early nineteenth century. Now, as a seller, I keep my eyes open for buying trends and what seems to sell. I look every day at what other vintage sellers are selling and how they price and photograph their items. It's a never-ending educational activity. The fact that I was an antiques writer once upon a time has certainly been a help for me as well--I spent years studying antiques and writing about them. However, today many of the items I was most familiar with are too expensive to sell on Etsy or else no longer in demand. So I've had to re-educate myself on "mid-century" items, for example, and the whole "industrial decor" phenomenon that's so popular today. 

Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to start an Etsy shop?

A: Be prepared for hard work and educating yourself in what it takes to open and sustain a shop. Many people open Etsy shops, but aren't willing to do the necessary research and work to make the sales. It's also crucial to join teams for learning and promotion, and to be active on a team you particularly like. Having the support of a community of other sellers will help sustain your shop and help you grow. I'm a leader on the Etsy Pickers and Sellers Team (known affectionately as "Epsteam"), which of course I think is the best vintage team on Etsy--nearly 3900 members right now and growing. It's a super friendly, supportive team and I can't imagine how I'd sustain my shop without the help and encouragement of the wonderful teammates I've met there.

Kris, thanks for your time and sharing your story and offering advice.  Your shop is something for other sellers to aspire to.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

More Glass - this time RED

Whether shopping for glass to make bird feeders or items for Etsy is my favorite shopping venue.  Check out some recent red glass finds.  

These bowls are perfect accent pieces to my fine china which has a delicate blue and red pattern with silver rim.  Purchased recently from this Cape Cod Avon pattern is stunning

Purchased from and seen yesterday in my glass bottle collection blog 

This ruby red tidbit dish purchased from became the bottom to the covered bird feeder below  

Find these and other bird feeders at

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Glass - it's more than just bird feeders

Collecting glass has become so easy and interesting.  Readily available are incredible glass pieces from all over the world, that you might not otherwise ever come across.  Etsy, is a great place to find vintage glass.  A few sellers that I have recently purchased glass bottles for my collection are:

Recommended because they all run their shops professionally - great communicators, quick shipping and expertly packed.  They also sell more than glass.

Most of the new additions are in this part of my kitchen.  On the right there is a new bright green, and 2 new blues.  On the left a short lavender and a red bottle were added.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New bird feeders at


Officially in about 6 weeks, but Wow!!  Winter is taking it's toll in 2014 and spreading the arctic love across the country.  As one storm ends, another begins.  In Texas it's been much colder than normal and for longer periods.  In other places several inches and feet of snow have put a strain on people and infrastructure.  Reports say that this has been the hardest winter since 1978 or 1998 depending on the region.  Ugh!!  Spring where art thou?


In preparation for the season of relief, Easter, Mother's Day and a yard full of birds, Stella Erwin's presents a few new designs.  They will be listed this weekend at  They join a huge variety of feeders - covered and uncovered.  

From the bottom looking skyward - white and clear glass - $64

Thumbprint bubble glass over marigold carnival glass - $99

Looking into the piece - white and clear glass - $64

Found this great blog that features Etsy items. 

From their about page:  "On this blog we’re trying to find and show the very best of Etsy. With everything from Jewelry to arts and home decor, everything lovely into one space. Make sure you follow the blog if you like it and want to get tons of Etsy finds to love."

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Big Day of LOVE is coming up - T minus 13 days and counting. has unusual and rare gifts that will express your love in a most delightful way.
   It's red, it's $69 and I have two in stock at the moment.   

          Or give long stem roses - the rim of this feeder is surrounded by them and just $59

 Moms and Grandmothers need love too - Stella Erwin's has lots of lovely vintage glass bird feeders with stunning floral designs from $54-$79.  This one is $77.  

And if you have read this far, you know you can use the following coupon code for 20% off any Stella Erwin's birdfeeder


So excited to have a few new items at  Current inventory is 56.  I like to have around 60 feeders available at any one time.  With holiday traffic and January clearance the inventory got a little low.  Have glass for another 5-6 feeders coming.  MEANWHILE - take a look at these - new for spring

Yes, the beige, pale yellow, cream section of the shop needed some beefing up.  Found this tufted quilted shade recently.  Paid a little more than normal, but it's so unusual I had to have it.  Listed at $69.

Also listed at $69, this pale yellow feeder, shown from the bottom is stunning.

New covered feeder with amberina and bubble thumbprint glass.  Listed at $99.